Stoked and Studying for the Bar

I finally got a chance to finish watching Stoked and Broke, a now-no-longer-new surf movie that, for a change, actually spoke to me.

There’s a part at the end where a San Diego fellow — a carpenter — speaks about everything he’s done to get to the point where he has a life of integrity, a deep and meaningful relationship with his wife, satisfying work, and the opportunity to surf most every day at home and to surf travel down to Baja for months at a time.  Focus, he emphasizes — it takes focus to create a life of meaning and integrity.

Surfing is that focus, for me.  There is nothing more focusing than waiting out, on my surfboard, scanning the horizon for a wave, a ripple, a hint of some change while, in the meantime, tracking the positions of the surfers to the right and left of me, before and behind me.  A thousand variables, all synthesized into slight variations on leaning to the left or the right, paddling a hair over, or back, keeping position relative to that house, or is it the other one?, or maybe that pole over there would be better, calling out, the faintest glance at another surfer, paddling or pulling back.  Focus.

Right now I’m 2.5-3.5 inland from inconsistent and cold waves.  Indeed, a joke of a shoulder injury has kept me even from training in the pool or pushups or basically anything related to surfing except the Indo board.  To make matters worse, my spouse and I have just suffered personal family tragedy.  Focus.

I spend my days studying for the bar. We are trying to move to California, where it is sunny and my spouse can take the first steps on his dream career and I will hold tight to an ethical practice and there is an ocean with real waves. Studying for the bar while dwelling with death is pretty much the worst possible everyday experience imaginable. Focus.

I shut my eyes and think of a beach with waves, me gliding across them.  Studying for the bar is a means to an end.  Focus.

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putting a smile on my face

This is just awesome. That is all.

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Lies, damn lies, and statistics

Per a friend’s intro-to-statistics class: women wear wetsuits more often than men, and women lose less blood in shark attacks than men. So wetsuits help staunch blood loss in shark attacks?

It would be interesting to know if this were true.  I would think wetsuit companies would be all over this claim, though, if there were any validity to it.

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I love the smell of surf wax in the morning

It’s pretty distracting, though, when I’m trying to put together job applications.

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The Fungus Among Us

That’s right, my very first post is all about infectious bootie, something I thought I’d put… behind me, after I got married.  The basic question is how to eliminate fungus from a slow-drying 7 mil bootie.

Today I learned, from unreliable and vague sources, that bootie-stink is actually caused by bacteria (and fungus?) growing inside the bootie.  When the bacteria eat whatever it is they eat (see above with the vague and unreliable sources), they release stinky waste products.

Various products for sale claim to eliminate the odor.  This one even claims to eliminate fungus as well.  No products provide data supporting their claims that the product works, what exactly the product does, or how it works.  I searched and searched, and I couldn’t find any reliable explanation (nor any consumer testing) of what will kill bacteria and fungus without destroying neoprene.

Typical. Over and over, I’ve found the surfing industry (and sometimes even surfing itself) to be full of dubious claims, often marketed with BS words like “natural.”  I’d love to know how wetsuit cleaner (or vinegar, ammonia, or regular soap) work to kill bacteria and fungus growing in wetsuit booties.

(All that said, Booty-Fresh, one of the products referenced above, can’t be all bad, given the company’s stance on wheaten terriers….)

UPDATE: Daily Stoke, a blog which sometimes posts some interesting/useful thoughts, likes another anti-stink product, “Sink the Stink.”  But, instead checking to see exactly what Sink the Stink is supposed to do, whether it does that, and/or how it claims to accomplish it’s goal, Stoke’s post just repeats the claim that the product eliminates stink.  Who knows if it does or not; who knows if it destroys neoprene; who knows whether it kills bacteria or fungi?  Surfing needs a Consumer Reports.

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